Activists targeted the iconic “Mona Lisa” painting at the Louvre Museum in Paris on Sunday, as confirmed by the food-security group orchestrating the demonstration.
At around 10 a.m.,two women, identified as Sasha, 24, and Marie-Juliette, 63, unleashed a display of dissent by splashing soup onto the glass-covered masterpiece.
The video footage shared online by the group, Riposte Alimentaire, showcased streaks and splatters of orange on the bullet-proof glass and the blue wall surrounding the renowned Leonardo da Vinci painting.
The provocative act was accompanied by a call for “the integration of food into the general social security system,” mentioning the supposed lack of attention given to individuals facing hunger in society.
Riposte Alimentaire contended that one in three people in France skips meals due to financial constraints, juxtaposing this reality with the wastefulness of discarding 20% of produced food.
The group’s statement, posted in French, criticized the prevailing model, asserting that it stigmatizes the most vulnerable while infringing upon the fundamental right to food.
Louvre Protest Fuels Critique of French Agriculture
As museum staff hurriedly intervened to shield the artwork behind protective panels, the video documented the aftermath of the protest.
Riposte Alimentaire expanded the scope of their message to address broader issues within the French agriculture and food industry.
They argued that the sector’s increasing profitability contributes significantly to inflation, with “excessive profits” accounting for two-thirds of this economic phenomenon.
The group also decried European free-trade treaties, claiming they foster unfair conditions for French growers in comparison to products that fall short of ecological and social standards.
Communicating the harmful effects of agriculture, Riposte Alimentaire argued that the sector contributes to 21% of national greenhouse gas emissions and contributes to the decline of biodiversity and soil degradation through the excessive use of inputs.
The protest sought to call attention to the pressing need for comprehensive changes in food security, addressing both socioeconomic and environmental issues.